Eleonora narrates the account in her travel blog ending with a message for all – to avoid wadis, and desist from swimming and exercise caution during the rainy season.
"The mountains spoke to each other from above
Who are these strangers walking in our sands and lands?
They come from outside, somewhere far beyond
we must give them an interesting challenge
to create an everlasting memory and bond
so we will talk to the winds and clouds
and create a unexpected storm
so the new people feel the heart of Oman,
which is strongly beating and warm
through adventure and dangerous weather
we will connect three families together
may their connection always be
a beautiful and pleasant memory
now, the mountains said,
they will forever remember this place
and their adventure will put a smile on their face"
This poem by a Russian blogger brings out her deep love for Oman.
However, her recent disastrous wadi adventure during a storm turned to smiles as she came out unscathed thanks to Omanis.
A flight attendant with KLM, Eleonora Kokorina (Elly for friends), has visited Oman over 12 times and each time she feels being part of Oman, which she calls a ‘special country’.
Her visit went near catastrophic due to the cyclonic storms that hit recently as they manoeuvred between huge wadi boulders.
Presently, based in Amsterdam, Elly who has a passion for writing blogs about travels and poetry, dreams to travel the world and create her own stories from her love for cultures.
Accompanied by her sister Paula Kaper and Hassan al Habsi, the trio escaped from the clutches of near death walking through palm trees and finally ended up in the village of Bidiya where they were moved to safety.
They began by spending a night in the desert sands of Sharqiyah gazing at the moon. Then they moved to Wadi Hawer, 200 km away from Muscat, known for its turquoise blue pools and lush date plantations. This they thought was a perfect choice from the hot desert, with its crystal clear blue pools and beautiful waterfalls.
But dark thunderstorms swept across the Hajar Mountains bringing torrential rain, high winds and dust storms.
Elly ends her blog with a message for all – avoid wadis, and desist from swimming and exercise caution during storms.
The aftermath of the storm led them to Bidiya where Moath al Rashdi and his family helped rescue them and played the perfect host.
Her blog mentions that it was the kindness and hospitality of the Omanis who openly came out to help them which she will cherish throughout her life. They came too close to possible electrocution wading through the water.
They heaved a sigh of relief, fetching to safety in the muddy and slippery mountain village farmland with towering palm trees.
Elly recalls her horrendous moments and soothed herself saying, “just relax, calm down. You are not in a dangerous situation. Stay with me for the moment.”
The words of author Dannion Brinkley (Saved by the Light and At Peace in the Light) came to her mind, the man who was struck by lightning and survived to tell the world about his near-death experience.
“I did not want to experience the same. I felt the fear rising again,” she said and started to pray.
“God, please, make us invisible to the lightning, place a protection over us and make us reach the car safely. I want to live. I choose life,” recalls Eleonora placing herself on the ground and reciting the prayer within herself.
Hassan was warmly welcomed by the sons of Shaikh al Rashdi. “I felt at home here and was happy to discover more beauty in this area than Wadi Hawer and able to discover the beautiful village in Bidiya.”
In the end, the trio still cannot believe all this had all happened.
Elly sums this up saying, “It was not a dream. We made friends, we conquered some fears and above all: we are safe and sound.”
At his home, Moath arrived with delicious homemade Omani food garnished with spices for dinner. With a happy ending, they shared laughs at the dinner table and were given a bedroom to finally sleep and process this unexpected day.
Despite the setbacks, Elly and Paula are determined to attempt the hike again on a sunny day.
Elly promises to come back to greet the villagers in Bidiya, present Al Rashdi, his brother Bahaa (@oman.wadi), and their family with Dutch sweets as they helped them in their distress hour and would love to swim again in the beautiful wadis of Oman.